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Jays Shut Out, Waste Strong Pitching Performance

Syndication: The Enquirer Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY NETWORK

It seems like just about every game the Jays play is a pitchers’ duel right now. The pitching staff has been phenomenal, while the offence has been utterly helpless. Tonight’s game was the extreme version of that. Collectively, the pitchers allowed one run on three hits and five walks while striking out ten. The offence was shut out, managing just six base runners in total.

If Seattle holds on (as I write this they’re up 1-0 in the fifth against Houston), the Jays will be officially out of a playoff spot. The bats are going to have to wake up soon if they want to get back in.

The offence was very bad again. Brett Kennedy pitched well, but he had a lot of help. Whit Merrifield singled and stole second in the first, and Cavan Biggio walked, but a line out and two Ks prevented the Jays from capitalizing.

They got another chance in the second when Daulton Varsho doubled to the gap in left, but again failed to do anything with it. The third was more of the same, with Belt singling and Guerrero getting hit on the elbow, but neither being brought in to score.

The fourth and fifth were different in that they were sat down in order rather than getting guys on before fizzling.

Overall, Kennedy went five, allowing three hits and issuing a walk and hitting a batter but no runs.

Buck Farmer took over in the sixth, working a 1-2-3 inning with two Ks. Ian Gibaut did the same in the seventh, with three lazy fly outs.

Lucas Sims struck out the first two in the eighth. Brandon Belt missed a home run foul by just a couple feet, but did manage to end up walking. Guerrero popped up on the infield for the third out, though.

They went down in order yet again in the ninth, this time to Alexis Diaz.

Jose Berrios did a good job. His command wasn’t pinpoint, and it took him a lot of pitches, but he got the outs he needed.

The first inning was 1-2-3. In the second, he walked leadoff man Spencer Steer, struck out Joey Votto and Christian Encarnacion Strand, walked Tyler Stephenson, and bounced back by striking out Will Benson. It was an extremely impressive display, but it also blew up Berrios’ pitch count.

He issued a third walk in the next inning, to Spencer Steer, but picked up two more strikeouts to get out of it.

The fourth and fifth were very good, as he sat down six Reds in a row with three more Ks.

He got TJ Friedl to pop up to lead off the sixth, but Matt McLain reached on a ground ball single and Berrios walked Ely De La Cruz. Steer grounded into a fielder’s choice that moved Friedl to third. That was the end of Berrios’s night. He left with two runners he was responsible for on base, but Genesis Cabrera got a first pitch ground out to Vlad at first to maintain the shutout.

Yimi Garcia was brought in to handle the seventh. He got the lead off man but gave up a one out single to Stephenson. Benson popped up to first. Guerrero cleverly faked like he was going to make the routine catch to hold Stephenson at first before sidestepping and letting it drop at the last second. He was able to throw to Biggio at first to get Benson, and because Stephenson had been held he got caught a third of the way to second for the rare pop up double play.

Erik Swanson got into a jam in the bottom of the eighth. He got the first two Reds, but McLain reached on a ground ball single that Chapman fielded but bobbled on the transfer and De La Cruz walked to put the go ahead run in scoring position. Swanson bounced back to strike Steer out to escape the jam.

The offensive deadlock finally broke in the bottom of the ninth. Christian Encarnacion Strand took Jordan Hicks deep to walk the Jays off.

Jays of the Day: Berrios (0.299), Swanson (0.115), Caberer (-0.077)

Suckage: Hicks (-0.348), Biggio (-0.122), Chapman (-0.166), Kiermaier (-0.115), Vlad (-0.085), Kirk (-0.091)

Chris Bassitt (11-6, 3.95) will be on the bump tomorrow, facing off against Brandon Williamson (4-2, 4.33). First pitch is 6:40pm ET.